February 27, 2013

Goodbye to Hearts

There are some people who are unmistakably recognizable even from behind. Although this is a black and white drawing and you can’t see her green fingernails and her ziggurat of wild red hair, it is Patti Battaglia. Patti and I shared a booth at a craft fair a few years ago at Common Ground on the Hill in Westminster, Maryland. Pulling out this sketch to make it into a complete drawing for my portfolio, I am reminded of the wonderful time we shared in Westminster. We shared our booth with Native American Ceramic artists, Gilbert and Wanpovi Sanchez and the very musically talented Jeremy Wright. Between the music, the jokes, and Patti’s outrageous colors I think that our little enclave was the liveliest on the Hill.
The sketch I made of Patti became a painting, then an illustration for a poem for my book manuscript Moments in Light and Shadows. I’ve reproduced the poem and the painting to the left. There were many changes I made when completing the drawing. The horizontal composition allowed for much greater detail. I decided to create a dialectic between European and African Art by populating Patti’s booth with African Sculpture and drawing the Parthenon in the distance. African sculptural masks seemed to suit Patti. The boldness of her jewelry design reminded me of the sculptures.

In keeping with the theme of hearts and love, I’ve made some heart shaped pendants around the Patrinkets (the name of her store) sign. It is my homage to the love of the day and to fond memories.

A puff of tree
springs from malachite nails
growing off a raised hand
like the metamorphosis of Daphne

The reaching hand
hails a distant acropolis
faux finished
in mock grandeur

gems rest there
gilded like her millifiori dress
awaiting patiently
the mercantile grasp

a ziggurat of crimson hair
spins off her head
a conscience
framed by poplars

Apollo like
we creep behind
our faces in the darkness
searching for jewels

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